Italian equipment manufacturing and design, and information services company
Olivetti, or Olivetti & C. SpA, (established 1908) is an Italian company that started as a typewriter manufacturer more than a century ago, and grew over the course of the 20th century to become one of the most influential product design and manufacturing companies of its time.
In 1908, Camillo Olivetti (1868–1943) opened the Olivetti manufacturing company in Ivrea, Italy, and aimed from the very outset to revolutionize the nature of the modern typewriter. At the 1911 Turin Universal Exposition, he debuted the Olivetti M1, a model that reflected Olivetti’s desire to upset the aesthetics that had governed the design of typewriters until then. The success and ingenuity of Olivetti designs accelerated when Adriano Olivetti took over control of the company in 1933 and introduced even more novel designs. These exciting new approaches to the design of the typewriter and—starting in 1948—the calculator were showcased in the 1952 exhibition “Olivetti: Design in Industry” at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. read more.
The turn of the century brought a period of restructuring for the company as the fiercely competitive and, by then, low-margin computer manufacturing market forced Olivetti to exit this segment. In 2005 Olivetti launched a smart phone, which the company has been producing since 2013, but this market too has been dominated by technological innovations from Apple and the Android platform smart phones of the Far East.
Today Olivetti offers only a small assortment of printers, calculators, and 3D printers, and has diversified into offering Internet of Things (IOT) solutions, digital eLearning solutions for schools, and other digital business solutions.
Last updated: March 5, 2019
For more information on Olivetti, please visit:
“Il design dei prodotti Olivetti.” Olivetti – Storia di un’impresa.
“Olivetti.” Museum of Design in Plastics.
“Olivetti, design in industry.” Museum of Modern Art.